Amongst other things, All Hallows’ Eve is everyone’s annual excuse to prepare a marathon selection of horror films, not that an excuse is ever required to perform this ritual of course. Whenever this time of year comes around the decision as to what to watch can be just as frightening an ordeal as the movies themselves. Choosing just the right scary movie is fundamental when it comes to setting the perfect mood so when compiling our very own list below we have done our utmost to try and strike just the right balance between a strong dose of scares and a healthy helping of laughs. We’ll leave you to enjoy this list of the ten of the eeriest films you should certainly consider watching this Halloween.
Whilst CGI effects wizard turned director Toby Wilkins is clearly well aware that more often than not, the less we see the more unsettling the film becomes, what gore he does throw in for good measure works wonderfully well. This low budget gem is an ideal option if you're after a few new Halloween scares.
Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer (2007)
Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer harks back to classic drive-in movies of yesteryear wearing nostalgia and affection proudly on its sleeve. Trevor Matthews plays the lead well but the star of the show without a doubt is horror icon Robert Englund in a hilariously over-the-top performance which prevents Monster Slayer from becoming just another by-the-numbers horror comedy.
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)
This deconstructionist mockumentary/straight-to-video hybrid project tips plenty of hats towards more than the odd cult slasher whilst proving itself as a fresh and unique entry into said genre. If this Scott Glosserman helmed horror feature had managed to tap a few more celebrities we’re sure it would have turned into an overnight success alongside the likes of Scream. Adeptly crafted and more frightening than it might sound on paper, Leslie Vernon swiftly earned the cult fave status he so rightly deserved.
Would you Rather (2012)
Would You Rather paints an intriguing picture of the human nature as the characters find themselves faced with the harsh reality of decisions and survival. Whilst the film could be written off as yet another exercise in torture porn it benefits from scribe Steffen Schlachtenhaufen’s riveting concept and director David Guy Levy’s conservative approach.
Satan’s Little Helper (2004)
Jeff Lieberman, who gained quite the horror following with cult favorites Squirm and Blue Sunshine, returned in 2004 with this unorthodox shocker. Whilst the less than SyFy Channel standards budget is apparent at times, Lieberman manages to effectively recreate New England during the Halloween season in this neglected horror gem yearning to be happened upon.
Murder Party (2007)
This priceless indie slasher comedy from first-time director Jeremy Saulnier may start out slowly but those willing to ride it out will enjoy the film as it erupts into outrageously funny violence. Murder Party boasts some particularly memorable performances, a break neck pace, highly amusing script and the climax is jam-packed with some of the cleverest kills ever.
High Tension (Switchblade Romance) (2003)
If you want an all out horror film which dives head first into the terror with virtually no buildup to the dread then this is the one for you this Halloween. The film plays tribute to cult classics such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes providing the viewer with one of the most gut-churning, tensest horror films put out in recent years.
Tucker & Dale Vs Evil (2010)
Tucker & Dale vs Evil is a smart horror/comedy of errors hybrid harking back to Sam Raimi classics that many have tried to duplicate in recent years to varied success. The lovable Tyler Tudyk and Alan Labine duo injects the same amount of freshness into the hillbilly horror genre that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost did for the zombie genre in Shaun of the Dead.
Ginger Snaps (2000)
In this clever and devilishly funny Canadian teen-horror, director John Fawcett managed to reinvent the banality of the werewolf formula converting it into a compelling allegory for teenage angst. Ginger Snaps marked a clever and witty return to world of werewolf mythology, cheesy (in a good way) special effects and lots and lots of ganja, strictly for medicinal purposes of course.
Harold’s Going Stiff
Harold's Going Stiff is director Keith Wright’s darkly funny and often touching take on the zombie genre. This British fly-on-the-wall zombie mockumentary is about as inventive as they come, following aging patient-zero, Harold Gimble, a sufferer of a rare new neurological disease called ORD which causes stiffness in the limbs, before sending sufferers into a dangerous, zombie-like state.
Obviously some of you will still be after even more horror gems to pad out your Halloween celebrations so we asked the rest of the Cinema Chords team what terrors they would be sliding into the DVD player this week: